Theoretical Approaches Supporting Workplace Innovation

Chapter
Part of the Aligning Perspectives on Health, Safety and Well-Being book series (AHSW)

Abstract

The theoretical underpinning of Workplace Innovation (WPI) is badly needed. Currently, there are scattered theoretical approaches that focus on human relations, systems and work organisation, change processes, and strategic business choices or a combination of these. We propose a working definition of WPI and subsequently relate approaches and supporting theories to that definition. We do not intend to formulate a definitive theory, but to demarcate what we are talking about as a community of scientific, business/HR and policy practice, in order to set out a path for aligning future research and theory development of WPI. The purpose is to show how these approaches support WPI practices and its claims for results and to discuss what we can learn from each approach for WPI. This contribution regards WPI as a means to simultaneously improve organisational performance and the quality of working life.

Keywords

Workplace innovation Organisational performance Quality of working life 

Notes

Acknowledgements

We would like to thank Frank D. Pot for our fruitful discussions and for commenting on earlier drafts. However, the authors are responsible for the final text.

References

  1. Appelbaum, E., Hoffer Gittell, J., & Leana, C. (2011, April). High-performance work practices and sustainable economic growth. Washington, DC: The Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR).Google Scholar
  2. Bakker, A. B., & Demerouti, E. (2014). Job demands—Resources theory. In P. Y. Chen & C. L. Cooper (Eds.), Work and wellbeing: A complete reference guide (Vol. III, pp. 1–28). Chichester: Wiley.Google Scholar
  3. Bloom, N., & van Reenen, J. (2010). Why do management practices differ across firms and countries? Journal of Economic Perspectives, 24(1), 203–224.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Boxall, P., & Macky, K. (2009). Research and theory on high-performance work systems: Progressing the high-involvement stream. Human Resource Management Journal, 19, 3–23. doi: 10.1111/j.1748-8583.2008.00082.x CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Boxall, P., & Macky, K. (2014). High-involvement work processes, work intensification and employee well-being. Work Employment Society. doi: 10.1177/0950017013512714 published online June 12, 2014.
  6. Christis, J. H. P. (2010). Organization and job design: What is smart organizing? In H. A. M. van Lieshout, L. Polstra, J. H. P. Christis, & B. J. M. Emans (Eds.), Management of labour. Societal and managerial perspectives (pp. 39–71). Groningen: Hanzehogeschool Groningen University of Applied Sciences.Google Scholar
  7. De Menezes, L., Wood, S., & Gelade, G. (2010). The integration of human resource and operation management practices and its link with performance: A longitudinal latent class study. Journal of Operations Management, 28(6), 455–471.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. De Sitter, L. U., den Hertog, J. F., & Dankbaar, B. (1997). From complex organizations with simple jobs to simple organizations with complex jobs. Human Relations, 50(6), 497–534.Google Scholar
  9. Demerouti, E., Bakker, A. B., Nachreiner, F., & Schaufeli, W. B. (2001). The job demands resources model of burnout. Journal of Applied Psychology, 86(3), 499–512.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. Dhondt, S., Oeij, P. R. A., van der Meulen, F. A., Preenen, T. Y. P., Vergeer, R., van der Kleij, R., et al. (2013). Platform workplace innovation: Workplace innovation in a capability maturity framework. Leiden: TNO.Google Scholar
  11. Dhondt, S., & Van Hootegem, G. (2015). Reshaping workplaces: Workplace innovation as designed by scientists and practitioners. European Journal of Workplace Innovation, 1(1), 17–24.Google Scholar
  12. Drucker, P. F. (2003). The productivity of the knowledge worker. In P. F. Drucker (Ed.), A functioning society. Selections form sixty-five years of writing on community, society, and polity (pp. 169–178). New Brunswick, London: Transaction Publishers.Google Scholar
  13. Eeckelaert, L., Dhondt, S., Oeij, P., Pot, F., Nicolescu, G. I., Webster, J., et al. (2012). Review of workplace innovation and its relation with occupational safety and health: Literature review. Bilbao: European Agency for Safety and Health at Work.Google Scholar
  14. Eisenhardt, K. M., & Martin, J. A. (2000). Dynamic capabilities: What are they? Strategic Management Journal, 21(10–11), 1105–1121.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Gittell, J. H. (2016). Transforming relationships for high performance. The power of relational coordination. Stanford, California: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
  16. Gustavsen, B. (2015). Practical discourse and the notion of democratic dialogue. European Journal of Workplace Innovation, 1(1), 25–35.Google Scholar
  17. Gustavsen, B. (2016). Democratic dialogue. In B. J. Mohr & P. Van Amelsvoort (Eds.), Co-creating humane and innovative organizations. Evolutions in the practice of socio-technical system design (pp. 186–200). Portland ME: Global STS-D Network.Google Scholar
  18. Häusser, J. A., Mojzisch, A., Niesel, M., & Schulz-Hardt, S. (2010). Ten years on: A review of recent research on the Job Demand-Control (-Support) model and psychological well-being. Work & Stress, 24(1), 1–35.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Helfat, C., Finkelstein, S., Mitchell, W., Peteraf, M., Singh, H., Teece, D., et al. (2007). Dynamic capabilities: Understanding strategic change in organizations. Malden, MA: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  20. Herriot, P. (2001). The employment relationship: A psychological perspective. Hove: Routledge.Google Scholar
  21. Howaldt, J., Oeij, P. R. A., Dhondt, S., & Fruytier, B. (2016). Workplace innovation and social innovation: An introduction. World Review of Entrepreneurship, Management and Sustainable Development, 12(1), 1–12.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Høyrup, S. (2012). Employee-driven innovation: A new phenomenon, concept and mode of innovation. In S. Høyrup, C. Hasse, M. Bonnafous-Boucher, K. Møller, & M. Lotz (Eds.), Employee-driven innovation: A new approach (pp. 3–33). Basingstoke and New York: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Kallevig, A. (2012). Medarbeiderdrevet innovasjon. http://www.arbeidslivet.no/Arbeid1/Naringspolitikk/Medarbeiderdrevet-innovasjon/. Accessed October 15, 2012 (in Norwegian).
  24. Karasek, R. A. (1979). Job demands, job decision latitude, and mental strain: Implications for job redesign. Administrative science quarterly, 24, 285–308.Google Scholar
  25. Karasek, R. A., & Theorell, T. (1990). Healthy work; Stress, productivity and the reconstruction of working life. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  26. Knights, D., & Willmott, H. (1990). Labour Process Theory. London: Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Koukoulaki, T. (2014). The impact of lean production on musculoskeletal and psychosocial risks: An examination of sociotechnical trends over 20 years. Applied Ergonomics, 45(2), 198–212.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. Landsbergis, P. A., Cahill, J., & Schnall, P. (1999). The impact of lean production and related new systems of work organization on worker health. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 4(2), 108–130.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. OECD. (2012). New sources of growth, knowledge-based capital driving investment and productivity in the 21st century. Paris: OECD.Google Scholar
  30. Oeij, P. R. A. (2017). The resilient innovation team. A study of teams coping with critical incidents during innovation projects. Ph.D. dissertation. Open University of The Netherlands.Google Scholar
  31. Oeij, P. R. A., Dhondt, S., Kraan, K. O., Vergeer, R., & Pot, F. D. (2012). Workplace innovation and its relations with organisational performance and employee commitment. LLinE, Lifelong Learning in Europe, 4 (no page numbers). http://www.elmmagazine.eu/articles/workplace-innovation-and-its-relations-with-organisational-performance-and-employee-commitment/
  32. Oeij, P. R. A., & Vaas, F. (2016). Effect of workplace innovation on organisational performance and sickness absence. World Review of Entrepreneurship, Management and Sustainable Development, 12(1), 101–129.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Oeij, P., Žiauberytė-Jakštienė, R., Dhondt, S., Corral, A., Totterdill, P., & Preenen, P. (2015). Workplace innovation in European companies. Study commissioned by Eurofound. Luxemburg: Office for Official Publications of the European Communities.Google Scholar
  34. Oldham, G. R., & Fried, Y. (2016). Job design research and theory: Past, present and future. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 136, 20–35.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Pot, F. D. (2011). Workplace innovation for better jobs and performance. International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, 60(4), 404–415.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Pot, F., Totterdill, P., & Dhondt, S. (2016). Workplace innovation: European policy and theoretical foundation. World Review of Entrepreneurship, Management and Sustainable Development, 12(1), 13–32.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Sennett, R. (1998). The corrosion of character. The personal consequences of work in the New Capitalism. New York, London: Norton.Google Scholar
  38. Theorell, T., & Karasek, R. A. (1996). Current issues relating to psychosocial job strain and cardiovascular disease research. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 1(1), 9–26.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  39. Totterdill, P. (2010). Workplace innovation: Europe 2020’s missing dimension. Report of a workshop hosted by DG Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities, June 23, 2010, UKWON, Nottingham.Google Scholar
  40. Totterdill, P., & Exton, R. (2014). Defining workplace innovation: The fifth element. Strategic Direction, 30(9), 12–16.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Van Eijnatten, F. M. (1993). The paradigm that changed the work place. Assen: Van Gorcum.Google Scholar
  42. Van Eijnatten, F. M., & van Der Zwaan, A. H. (1998). The Dutch IOR approach to organizational design: An alternative to business process re-engineering? Human Relations, 51(3), 289–318.Google Scholar
  43. Van Hootegem, G. (2016). Changing the nature of work: Toward Total Workplace Innovation. In B. J. Mohr & P. Van Amelsvoort (Eds.), Co-creating humane and innovative organizations. Evolutions in the practice of socio-technical system design (pp. 326–343). Portland ME: Global STS-D Network.Google Scholar
  44. Weick, K. E. & Sutcliffe, K. M. (2007). Managing the unexpected: Resilient performance in an age of uncertainty, (2nd Edn.; 1st Edn. 2001), San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  45. Womack, J. P., & Jones, D. T. (2005). Lean solutions: How companies and customers can create value and wealth together. London: Simon & Schuster.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.TNO, The Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific ResearchLeidenThe Netherlands
  2. 2.KU LeuvenLeuvenBelgium

Personalised recommendations